arthritis vs. tendonitis

Topic Title: arthritis vs. tendonitis
Created On: 08/12/2002 04:50 PM

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 04/05/2010 05:17 PM

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Arthritis is inflammation of one or more body joints. It results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement.

Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects the joint, allowing for smooth movement. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint. Without cartilage, the bones would rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.

When the cartilage becomes worn or damaged, or is lost due to disease or trauma, the joint no longer has a painless, mobile area of motion. The body attempts to make up for the lost cartilage. It produces fluid in the joint lining (synovium), which tries to act like a cushion, like water in a waterbed. But it also causes the joint to swell and restricts motion. The swelling causes stretching of the joint covering (capsule), which causes pain.

Synovial Fluid formation-

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 04/05/2010 04:23 PM

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Tendonitis Inflammation and irritation of the tendon is known as Tendonitis

The tendon is the end part of a muscle that attaches the muscle to the bone. It is very elastic and soft muscle tapers off at the end to form the much denser and stiff tendon. While this density makes the tendons stronger, the constant pulling on its attachment to the bone with movement, makes it much more susceptible to a low level of tearing. If the normal smooth gliding motion of tendon is impaired, the tendon can become inflamed. This condition is called tendonitis Tendonitis is usually seen after excessive repetitive movement when the tendon gradually becomes tighter until the fibres start to tear. For example, a person playing tennis regularly may over-use the muscles of the elbow when hitting the ball repetitively and cause tendonitis to the area.

Tennis ELbow diagram

Tennis elbow, a type of tendonitis occurs when tendon connecting some of the forearm and hand muscles to the upper arm bone get damaged.

Image source:

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 08/13/2002 05:17 PM

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Well arthritis covers a number of ailments invovling the wearing down of cartialge and connective tissue while tendonitis is specifically that connective tissue that is the tendon (which connects muscle to bone) being inflamed- However symptomatically it would be ridiculously hard to tell the difference (if it mattered) sharp pains etc. etc. I suggest you go have a doctor actually look at it
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 08/12/2002 04:50 PM

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What differentiates tendonitis from arthritis? I have had swelling and dull pain in the lower knuckle of my right pointer finger for some time now. It is tight in the morning and loosens up through the course of the day - is that a symptom of tendonitis or arthritis? does anyone know? thanks.
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